Being a Chef of any sort is truly like being a wizard. Not only do you have to have great precision and great attention to detail, you have to be a mathematician to balance the right flavours AND let your imagination run free. While I may not know the intense detail that goes into every dish or dessert made, I have amazing respect for Chefs. This is one of those moments where it rings so true. I was invited to Chocolate Arts’ new space (which by the way, is beautiful).
There was a great savoury area with pizza-like rounds and a great spread of cheese. We were also invited to have a glass of wine, an espresso and so on.
They have a great display wall with just about anything that comes to mind: chocolate letters, truffles, boxes of chocolate, melting chocolate, almonds, chocolate spreads…I could go on and on.
Chocolates were a-plenty! We tried the Kalamansi – white chocolate with tart Kalamansi ganache. This was one of my favourites of the evening – it seems Kalamansi is becoming very popular! If you’ve never had it before, it’s a tiny lime originating from the Philippines. The chocolate itself was delicious, as you popped it into your mouth, the refreshing taste of Kalamansi just bursts. It’s not too tart so that you’d be making that sour face, but quite enjoyable.
There was Strawberry & Champagne Seduction (Housemade strawberry jelly layered with Champagne ganache). The balance between the two were great.
Another item that stood out was their Crispy Raspberry Stick – Milk chocolate (38%), house dried raspberry leather, feuilletine. I can’t say I’m a big fan of raspberry, but the fact that it had such a great light taste of raspberry made this so enjoyable. This could turn into an addictive snack.
They also had some Candied Almonds and Framboise (Dark Chocolate – 61% – house-made organic raspberry puree, cream, house-infused raspberry vodka) and some chocolate leaves (Matcha flavoured)!
My favourite part of the evening was venturing into their back room area where the magic happens. I’m talking full on chocolate factory back here – spouts a-pourin’ and an assembly line.
And just like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we had treats waiting for us. Two chefs at different stations were presenting different offerings. Philippe Vancayseele (Cacao Barry Technical Director) gave us the chance to experience gianduja, dipped in melted milk chocolate and dusted with coffee. Gianduja is essentially chocolate made with a hazelnut paste – found in many delicious things (including Hedgehogs from Purdys) – this is by far one of my favourite chocolates- if not sitting pretty at the top of my list. When I popped the chocolate into my mouth, it slowly melted and left the delicious hazelnut taste lingering. This is truly what dreams are made of.
At the other area, Chef and Chocolatier Greg Hook had an assortment of desserts including a salted chocolate cookie, Meyer Lemon Chocolate squares (top, on the bark), a Raspberry mousse and – another favourite of the evening: an Apple infused chocolate mousse. It was so amazing, I’m actually lost for words.
Clearly the passion of chocolate runs deep at Chocolate Arts. Their chocolates are beautifully made in small batches with the best ingredients. There are no fillings or additives and most of their fruits and flavoured alcohols are made right in house. How can you not get behind that?
They are also participating in the ongoing Hot Chocolate Festival (until February 14). They’re located right off 4th on Fir, it’s definitely worth a trip!
Visit their website here.